Friday, April 20, 2007


...which is the Romanian word for "The people". Something a little archaic, like in the old days, when the people were either being oppressed, discontent or revolting. Usually, one uses the word in describing folks living in the country or a people as a whole, but then they are always specifying the country.

These days, right after the Parliament decided to suspend president Basescu, the Romanian Internet went wild. "Poporul" that, "Poporul" this. Blogs everywhere, hailing the great hero of "the people", victim to the vicious plots of traitors and communists and economic interests and so on and so on.

I am not even commenting on the decision to suspend Basescu, although I never liked the guy, but I can and will comment on the reaction of so many people, fellow bloggers, journalists and opinion leaders, all caught in the demagogic and cynical trap of the "hero".

For example, I read that Basescu (single-handedly, no doubt) brought Romania in the EU. Wrong! Most of the job was done by the PSD before, and it would have been inevitable, anyway, since the EU wanted our market. He is also responsible for the transition from the ROL (the leu, the old Romanian coin) to the RON. I might argue that the transition itself is dumb and useless since we will be switching to the Euro in 5 years, but hey... what did the president of the country in order to influence in any way the switch to the RON? Again, he is a great guy, but he did this terrible mistake of putting Tariceanu as prime minister. Did he have any other choice?! He won the elections (barely, I might add) on the back of a coalition of parties, the democrats and the liberals. Being a democrat himself, he had to put a liberal prime minister, whether he wanted or not! What else did he do, this hero of the people, except telling Bill Gates that piracy was a positive thing for Romanians? (which is true, BTW) Publicly fighting with your prime minister is NOT a good thing.

The greatest thing Basescu ever did was impersonate fantastically well a man who fights corruption. But did he? Corruption scandals are everywhere around him, involving him, suggesting political blackmail by use of the Secret Services. Are they based on anything? I don't know, but I do know that the little corruption, the one that I have to face, as a normal person, did not diminish. Quite the opposite! The current government policy seems to be take from the small and give to the big.

But returning to the people, who are these people that like Basescu? The ones that are either sympathizers of the democratic party or not having any political sympathy (as all other parties are now against him). Who are these wonderful people who will fight for the symbol of their freedom and fight against evil (no, not Bush), against the political will of all the parties and the people that support them and against all the TV attacks against the president? Who are these great minds who can think for themselves and make a decision and stick by it? They are not the "popor", that's for sure!

So for you, all these people of the press and Internet blogging bravado, I suggest you speak of yourselves, leaving "the people" alone, since you are not their representatives (as Basescu is not). Leave the illusion of greatness to the dictator-hearted people. Lead by example, not by association. Because you are not of the people, you are a little better.